And whoever welcomes a child like this in My name welcomes me. Matthew 18:5

Monday, February 25, 2013

Student Participation

 Student participation is HUGE to the success of a Sunday School program. I've had serious problem students over my time, and simply letting them participate in class helped tons. 
 The best way to start with student participation is incorporating them into your lessons, like a game where everyone can get involved or even a skit. 
Example, if you're doing a skit or using puppets you may ask some of your older students to help out. This always goes over really well. The older kids love the grown up responsibility, and the younger kids love seeing their friends be goofy.
 My favorite way to get kids to participate in class is to give them daily duties, like passing out Bibles, praying over snack, taking up tithes and offering, passing out craft supplies, and so on. Not only will this help you out each Sunday, but you won't believe how much the kids enjoy it. They fall all over each trying to get their hand up first when I ask for volunteers. Again, kids love feeling like they are doing a grown up job. It makes them feel like a "big kid."
 My kids started getting so involved that they would voluntarily stay after to class to help me sweep, clean the white board, straighten the chairs, take out the trash, and generally pick up the place. 
 Also, praise it key with student participation. Kid's love your approval. You don't have to gush about them in class, but a general, "Thank you (insert name of kid here lol)", will do when they are helping out. But after class I really recommend thanking them one on one. You can say something like, "Thanks so much for helping pick up Bibles after class it helps me out a lot!" Simple right? Kids will respond so well to little things like that. 
 When you bring participation and praise into your classroom you will see better behavior, a closer relationship with your students, and probably a cleaner classroom. haha 
 I believe in teaching our lessons through action, which is why I use so many games, skits, and object lessons in class. But, I also believe things like work ethic and responsibility are learned through action as well. It seems to stick with the kids better this way. They don't just have words to hold onto, but they have a fun memory as well, and that will stick with them for a lifetime. 
 At the end of the day know that your students want your love and approval. Maybe thats something you have difficulty showing. Obviously you love these kids or you wouldn't be back here doing this job. But for whatever reason maybe you have trouble showing it to your kids. So do me a favor, think of this as a homework assignment not to just to teach the kids, but to teach you as well. Show them love and approval, and they will do the same for you.


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